Kansas founder and violinist Robby Steinhardt has died at the age of 71.
His family have confirmed the sad news in a statement following the musicians short battle with illness. “Robert Eugene Steinhardt was well recognized as a founding member and original violinist and vocalist for the rock band Kansas,” reads the statement.
“His violin and vocals on ‘Dust in the Wind,’ ‘Point of No Return’ and ‘Carry on Wayward Son’ have etched Robby a solid place in rock history.”
Beginning his career as the bassist in the prog-rock band White Clover, the group gradually morphed into a more glossy and glamourous sound and renamed themselves as Kansas.
He enjoyed huge commercial success with the band on hits like ‘Carry On Wayward Son’ and ‘Dust in the Wind’ before departing in 1982 to form Steinhardt-Moon.
Following this one-off experimental project, he eventually rejoined Kansas in 1997 and embarked on further world tours as their music celebrated a classic rock revival.
He left the band once more in 2006, to enjoy music at a slower pace away from the limelight of global tours and embarked on several solo projects, one of which he was working on when he passed away.
His family statement mentions this, as it reads: “Robby had been recording his new album with producer Michael Franklin, who put together an all-star cast of famous musicians in support of Robby’s comeback. Steinhardt was very proud of this project, slated for release in late 2021. He had begun rehearsals for a national tour when he became ill.”
As of yet, no cause of death has been released, however, it is known that the musician suffered a heart attack back in 2013. His family statement concludes, “He will be deeply missed by all he knew and his music will last forever. A memorial will be announced in the future.”